By Matt Ward
Indeed, when one spends any serious time considering Syria, the only conclusion one can draw is that it would be truly remarkable if all-out war did not come from here. Interesting, and more than a little frightening, this is just the scenario that Isaiah describes in his Burden of Damascus prophecy. The house of Israel suddenly attacked, from Syria, provoking a reaction that can only be a nuclear retaliation, and thus Damascus, the oldest continually inhabited city on Earth, is reduced overnight into a heap of ruins. This could happen today or it could happen tomorrow.
This volatility in the Middle East is unlikely to change any time soon either because a number of huge power bloc confrontations upholds the current situation. It is these vast power blocs, similar to those that existed in pre-First World War Europe, that are fueling the chaos in the Middle East. Firstly, there is Israel, backed by America, against all her many regional enemies. Currently, these enemies consist of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. This power struggle is manifesting itself in sporadic violence between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.
There is a sense in the Middle East that the old rules simply do not apply any longer. There is a belief that what might once have been out of bounds is now very much up for grabs, and that if these state and non-state actors don’t rush in and take what they perceive to be the new spoils, that opportunity may be lost to them forever. All of this reinforced by the obvious desire of the United States to disengage from all Middle Eastern military commitments.
The Middle East, at present, seems to be spinning out of control. When war does finally come, as it will, it is also looking more and more likely that Israel will stand in this war all alone